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Which bank offers the best joint account?

Joint accounts can be a convenient way of managing finances with your partner or housemates, but which bank is the one to choose? Here’s a guide to the fees and features of the joint account offerings from AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank.

What is a joint account?

A joint bank account is one which is shared between two people. Both account holders get a debit card and can lodge and withdraw money from the account, set up standing orders and pay for services by direct debit.

What are the advantages of having a joint account?

Joint banking accounts can be a convenient way of managing money and budgets between two people. They are particularly useful if you live with another person and you both share the cost of household services such as energy, broadband and Netflix.

Each month, you and your partner or housemate could lodge some or all of your monthly income into your joint account and set up direct debit payments for your utilities, thereby eliminating the need to transfer money to one another after a bill has been paid.

However, before setting up a joint account with someone, it is important that there’s a strong, trusting relationship between you and your potential co-account holder. After all, you will both have access to each other's money.

Which bank has the best joint account in Ireland?

Joint bank accounts work in a very similar way to individual bank accounts and come with the same fee structure a waiver.

Thus, it can be a financially wise move to set up a joint account if you and your partner or housemates are comfortable doing so. Some banks will waive all fees if you keep, say, €3,000 on deposit at all times. This target is twice as easy to reach with a partner than by yourself.

AIB

AIB’s joint account has some of the highest transaction fees, but its maintenance fees are relatively low.

It also allows you to get fee-free banking if you keep €2,500 in the account at all times. With that sum split between two people - €1,250 each - it’s one of the easiest fee waivers to meet.

AIB offers Apple Pay and Google Pay, which are becoming increasingly popular methods of payment, to joint account holders.

Maintenance fees (per annum)

ATM withdrawal fee

Debit card transaction fee

Contactless fee

Google/Apple Pay

Perks

Avoid fees by

€18

€0.35

€0.20

€0.00

Yes

AIB Everyday Rewards Scheme

Keeping a minimum deposit of €2,500 at all times.

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland’s transaction fees are a little lower than AIB’s, but the maintenance fee is slightly higher. Also, Bank of Ireland’s fee waiver is tougher to meet, and it only allows you to avoid the transaction fees. The €20 annual maintenance fee is impossible to avoid.

Finally, Bank of Ireland doesn’t yet offer Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Maintenance fees (per annum)

ATM withdrawal fee

Debit card transaction fee

Contactless fee

Google/Apple Pay

Perks

Avoid fees by

€20

€0.25

€0.10

€0.01

No

Live Life Rewards scheme

Keeping a minimum deposit of €3,000 at all times.

KBC

KBC charges 30 cent per ATM withdrawal - which is relatively high - but it doesn’t charge any other transaction fees.

At €24 a year, the bank’s maintenance fees is a little higher than AIB’s and Bank of Ireland’s, but you can avoid all fees by lodging €2,500 into your joint account every month.

Like AIB, KBC offers Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Maintenance fees (per annum)

ATM withdrawal fee

Debit card transaction fee

Contactless fee

Google/Apple Pay

Perks

Avoid fees by

€24

€0.30

€0.00

€0.00

Yes, + FitBit Pay

Free €5 when you open an account using new app

Lodging €2,500 every month

Permanent TSB

Permanent TSB does things a bit differently.

Its annual maintenance fee is the joint highest - €48 - but it doesn’t charge any transaction fees. In fact, the bank will even pay you 10 cent for every debit card transaction up to a maximum of €5 a month.

So, if you make 40 transactions a month, every month, you will avoid all fees. And if you make 50 transactions a month, you could actually make a profit of up to €12 a year.

Unfortunately, Permanent TSB doesn’t offer Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Maintenance fees (per annum)

ATM withdrawal fee

Debit card transaction fee

Contactless fee

Google/Apple Pay

Perks

Avoid fees by

€48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

No

Permanent TSB GoRewards Scheme

Earn 10 cent back on every debit card transaction (capped at €5 per month)

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank charges a high €48 a year in maintenance fees, but it doesn’t charge any transaction fees. You can avoid the annual maintenance by keeping €3,000 on deposit at all times.

Ulster Bank provides Apple Pay and Google Pay as standard to its joint account holders.

Maintenance fees (per annum)

ATM withdrawal fee

Debit card transaction fee

Contactless fee

Google/Apple Pay

Perks

Avoid fees by

€48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

Yes

None

Keeping a minimum deposit of €3,000 at all times.

Better off solo?

When considering opening a joint bank account, the most important question to ask is; do you want to be financially interdependent with your potential co-account holder. If you do, then a joint account makes sense, both in terms of convenience and cost.

When it comes to choosing a bank, it’s wise to consider you and your co-account holder’s general spending habits and from there choosing the joint account with the best features and lowest fees for your requirements.


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